Tuesday, April 30, 2013

365 Week 18

Obviously I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I decided to do an art journal for my 365 project.  I should have stayed with something I knew; something I could do without having to think too hard.

That’s what’s killing me, trying to use all the prompts and tie them in with my power word.  But it’s not that, either…really it is the combination of doing a post every day using a power word in conjunction with a daily prompt to make an art journal page.  It’s just too much.  But I said I was going to do this, so I am determined to do this.

I have noticed one trend with my daily projects.  It seems that inspiration comes in surges.  For several days, I will be totally inspired and wil produce some great projects.  Then for the next few days, I can barely get my pages done and I struggle through every bit of it.  I’m not sure why that is, but it’s making me crazy.  I just want to sit down for an hour or two and do an entry.  I want to get it done so I can move on to something else.  It seems the only creative time I’m getting these days is spent on the art journal, and that’s not what this was supposed to be about.  It was supposed to help feed my creativity and to teach me to be able to produce on the spot so that I could learn techniques to get more work done. 

That just ain’t happening.

Here’s my post for this week.  I had fun with the “Hive of Activity” prompt on day 113.  I used the Crafters Workshop “Chicken Wire Reversed” stencil and gesso to create the honeycomb.  I filled a few of them in with Crystal Color Lacquer by Sakura.  The bees were made using the ornament from the Stampin’ Up Merry Minis punch pack.  This project was a lot of fun and pretty much sums up what the last few weeks of my life have been like!

What about you?  Have you been keeping up with the prompts?  Do you find you have days where you are more creative than others? 

Here’s next weeks prompts:

  • Peace
  • Some things we have in common are…
  • Search
  • Waste not, want not
  • I deserve
  • Quiet
  • Addiction
Don't forget that today is the last day of our Linked In Blog Hop!  Follow the Team Linked In blogs, like our facebook pages, and even make comments to earn entries into our Rafflecopter drawing.  You could win $150 in great products!  The more blogs you follow and the more comments you make, the more entries you'll receive!  Check here for details:  Linked In Blog Hop.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thanks So Much...

Okay, I know you’re probably sick and tired of looking at this same line of paper on almost every post I’ve done this week, so I promise I’ll lay off it a while.  I just had to share the third card I made from the Fancy Pants Design Down By the Shore paper collection.  I’m still using just the green and blue papers because I just love this color combo, but I promise, any future cards or layouts I make from this paper line in the near future will be with some of the other papers in the collection, and in a variety of different colors.

Again, I used the BoBunny Double Dot card stock.  The stamps and ink are by Stampin’ Up!.

Have you ever had a paper line that you just couldn’t get enough of and you wanted to use it over and over and over again?  What collections inspire your creativity?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Home is...

A few months back, while participating in Layout A Day, Lain Ehman challenged us with the daily prompt “Home is….”  I knew exactly what kind of page I wanted to make.  Over the years I’ve had more than one opportunity to revise my idea of what home is.  Having moved 18 times in the first 20 years of my life, I came to realize that home was not a what or a where, but instead it is a who.  

The page that I created for this challenge was inspired by the lovely DCWV Retro stack, which really has a homey feel that I just love.  I love this layout, but I still feel like it needs a little something more.  I tried once again to emulate that layered look that I love so much, but can’t seem to produce.  I just can’t ever find whatever it is that will put those last finishing touches on it.  My layout feels bare…spartan…plain.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “layered look”, I’m referring to the trend of stacking lots of patterned papers and embellishments around either one or two pictures on a single page layout.  Everything is clustered together and piled up in multiple layers.  I’m sure there is a name for this style, and if you know what it is, please share it with me!  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out some of these examples:

From Kelly Star:

From the Weekly Scrapper

From Patty Rogers on The Lone Star Crafters facebook group

That’s the effect that I’m trying to master.  I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to learn it, but I love the look, so I’m going to keep trying.  Is there a style you like that you just can’t manage to accomplish?  I’d love to hear about it, and I’d love to hear your tips on how to get that look I want.

Don’t forget, our Linked in Blog Hop is still going strong!  You can start at the beginning with and April Showers post by one of our hop coordinators – Elizabeth Mindemann’s Broken Treasures.  Follow the hop and join each of the blogs as a follower to enter our grand prize drawing valued at over $150!

I hope it inspires you to do something creative!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

365 Week 17

Have you ever experienced a creative block?  Have you ever had a project that leaves you so uninspired that you simply cannot work on it?  That’s the way I feel right now about my art journal.  I don’t know if it’s the pressure, or if the prompts are just not jiving with me, but I sit down to work on the journal and nothing comes out for hours.  If I force it, I wind up with a big mess and I’m not at all happy with what I’ve created.  It’s so bad that I’m tempted to throw it away.

That’s the way I feel about my art journal right now.  Two weeks ago, I was squeeling with joy over the awesome ideas I had, and today, I can’t get a single page done.  It’s a good thing I have enough other creative projects to keep me going for a few weeks,  I can work on those every day to fulfill my 365 obligation, but in the mean time, my art journal is falling behind.  I’m just stuck on a few prompts that have left me uninspired, and I don’t know what to do.

How do you deal with a creative block?  Do you power through it, or do you wait it out?  I’d love to hear about it!  Send me your comments and tell me what you think.

In the mean time, I wanted to show you the one good piece of work that I was able to complete this week, and I promise, I will upload and share the others later in the week. 

Day 106 – The Last Thing That Made Me Laugh Outloud

This page was made by using one of the pre-made backgrounds that I created with my leftover paints.  I wanted to do something to represent  Boy Scouts, because the last thing I laughed out loud at was at our troop’s Spring  Court of Honor.  I used a large foam stamp and archival ink to create the large fleur-de-lis.  The human silhouette was cut from a photograph and traced onto the page before I filled it in with a paint pen.  Then I used a new stamp and some Memento ink to go over that.  I’m still trying to get the hang of the many-layered art journal page.  I just run out of ideas for things to layer. 

I hope you are still creating something every day.  Remember, it doesn’t matter what you create, as long as you are being creative!  So if one project isn’t working for you, go ahead and find one that does.  As for me, I think I’m going to keep trying to work on the art journal, and with any luck, I might be able to power past this block and get caught back up.  Here’s the prompts I’ll be working on:

  • Hive of activity
  • Grateful for
  • I do
  • Courage
  • Birds
  • Let the journey begin
  • 10 years ago I was

Monday, April 22, 2013

What Inspires You

What inspires you?  It’s been a hot topic on more than a few discussion boards, and everyone has a different answer.  In a recent Layout A Day challenge, Lain Ehman tasked us with finding inspiration from a cereal box, from an Ebay search, and even from our trash.  I’m betting that most of you, like me, get your inspiration from the usual sources:  a page map or sketch, a magazine, a Google search, the photos you’ll be using….  But what Lain was trying to teach us is that inspiration can come from a lot of different places, sometimes when we least expect it.  Her prompt inspired us to stay alert for opportunities to be inspired by unusual things and to pay attention to the world around us for scrapbooking cues.

Thinking outside the box is not always easy for me.  I’m a very “color inside the lines” kind of gal.  When I’m scrapbooking, I tend to pick either the paper or the pictures first, and build the page from there.  But one day, as I was cleaning up after working on a page, I found this leftover bit of embellishment, and I just knew I had to make a scrapbook page around it.  I had a stack of My Minds Eye Bohemia, and was amazed to find that the papers matched the embellishment exactly.  I didn’t even have any pictures in mind for this page…just an idea from the embellishment. 

Some day I will find the perfect set of pictures for this layout, most likely two photos where my son and my husband are doing exactly the same thing at different times.  They might even be pictures I haven’t even taken yet.  Who knows, maybe this embellishment will wind up inspiring the best photos I’ve ever taken….

Don’t forget to check out our first ever Linked In Blog Hop.  We’ve got some great prizes in store for you valued at over $150.  Just follow the links below to see all the great April Showers projects these awesome ladies have designed for you!  You can begin by clicking here:  April Showers Blog Hop.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bundle of Joy

I know, I know…I promised to post this card the day after the beginning of our Linked In Blog Hop, but I totally forgot that the next post was supposed to be the Tuesday 365 Challenge prompts.  And then on Wednesday, I posted a layout because I was running out of time to get my article done.  My whole week was wrong, wrong, wrong.  So here I am, on Sunday, finally getting around to posting this card. 

Butterflies created with Stampin' Up! Beautiful Wings Embosslits Die
As you can see, this card is made from the same paper collection as my blog hop layout  It is called Down By the Shore by Fancy Pants Designs.  I also used a little bit of BoBunny’s Double Dot paper to fill in, and Stampin' Up Pacific Point ink.  The stamp came from the dollar bin many, many years ago.  Even though this line is nautical in nature, I just loved the colors and thought they would be perfect for a baby boy layout.  I used it on the baby shower page I did for the blog hop, and then, as always, I used the scraps to make a card.  It just so happens that one of my daughter’s long-time friends from high school is expecting, so this will be a nice little card to send her and her little bundle of joy.

Since I was so busy last week, I didn’t have time to plan for the crop I went to Saturday. That’s where I finally managed to find the time to work on the card I promised.  On my way to this crop, I stopped by a scrapbook samples sale hosted by a gentleman who reps several companies, including Fancy Pants Design.  As luck would have it, he had samples of the full line of the Down by the Shore line, so I bought up his samples, knowing I could do something really cute with it someday.  So I wound up bringing only two projects to the crop:  some little embellishment kits that I will be donating to the Dallas Crafters Marathon group for their May the Fourth Be with You National Scrapbook Day Crop Party weekend and the Down by the Shore paper

I did experiment on this card a bit.  I always like to try something new when I make cards, and I had recently purchased some of Stampin' Up! Heat and Stick Powder.   If you've never used it before, it is an embossing powder that turns into glue when heated with your embossing gun.  Just stamp your image with Versamark ink, dust with the powder, heat until it turns shiny, and it's ready to be dusted with your favorite glitter.  In my haste to get to the crop Saturday, I failed to pack my glitter, but I did have some colored foil, so I thought I'd try the foil on it instead.  It wound up being a miserable fail.  I couldn't get enough of the foil to stick to the glue and wound up having to go back over it with a glue pen to get something akin to the desired results.  In the long run, I would have been better off just stamping the image in a coordinating color of ink and tracing over it with the glue pen.  I might try it again in the future with a different stamp.

I wound up with a little extra time and very limited supplies, so I made a second card from the same paper.  I've been dying to use the little Stampin' Up! Pinwheel die for quite some time, and this card was perfect for it.  The stamps and ink are also Stampin' Up!

I’ve still got quite a bit of this paper left; so don’t be surprised to see more of it over the course of the next few months. There’s no telling what I might do with it!

Don’t forget to check out our first ever Linked In Blog Hop.  We’ve got some great prizes in store for you valued at over $150.  Just follow the links below to see all the great April Showers projects these awesome ladies have designed for you!  You can begin by clicking here:  April Showers Blog Hop.